Saturday, September 02, 2006
The usual Saturday morning activities were observed: coffee - book shop - aquarium shop. I had a slight hangover from the night before, so was pleased when my cappuccino was piping hot and pastry fresh. It took a while for my head to clear but the rain soon helped to clear away the cobwebs.
In Waterstone's I was on a mission to spend some of the book tokens my mother gave me for my birthday last year. I wanted to buy books of some of the authors I went to see at the Book Festival last month, and so with that in mind I came away with Flesh and Blood by John Harvey and Lifeless by Mark Billingham. I also bought another Paul Auster novel, The Brooklyn Follies, and a rhyming dictionary for my own reference.
At the aquarium shop I bought some new fish: two beautiful deep red Swordtails and half a dozen Zebra Danio's with silver and blue stripes along its body and the tendency to swim in a unified shoal. They should help to make the tank look a bit more active, something it's been lacking of late.
After a Gregg's lunch - ok, not the healthiest but great post-bevy stodge - we waved Gail and her pal goodbye as they left for the airport. A week in sunny Kos awaits them, and a week of work, child-minding and missing my woman awaits me.
I tidied the house (so I won't have to do it again before Gail gets back), then logged onto my work laptop to take care of an implementation from home. This is the one that's caused so much grief at work this week, as well as the past four months, and it didn't disappoint. My work went as expected, but when the phone rang at midnight, all that changed.
Before that, however, some sad news came through from my online writer's group. At first it was just a despicable rumour, the latest in a long line of terrible things said about the group's founder. Within a couple of hours the rumour was turned on it's head and became a reality. Roy had died earlier this week.
It was a shock, to say the least. I only ever knew Roy through the World Wide Web, but when he set up our group, he did so with a vision that it be one of friendship and for a love of writing. It was an oasis of respect among writers and friends from all nationalities, creed, beliefs and religions. It is as a result of his vision, that I came to know him and make many other friends.
Over the last three years we had spoken over e-mail extensively about life and about writing. He wasn't a conventional writer, some of his writing was quite close to the bone, but he wasn't afraid to write about anything, to raise issues head on, and to approach them empathetically. We had swapped stories and critiqued each other's work many times, and most recently, he had been offering help and advice for the anthology idea I came up with for the group. Not once, did he suggest he was ill.
I'll miss his emails and I'll miss his frankness. I want to publicly send my thoughts and wishes to his family and to everyone who was close to. Rest in peace old friend, for you shall be greatly missed.
As a result of my midnight phone call, any chance of sleep became a distant dream (eh?). Inept decision making, rude project managers, and a lack of technical understanding contributed to me getting no sleep until 7am. I wasn't the only one working from home and being kept up all night, and it was all totally avoidable. They want me in for 8am on Monday morning so they can talk about it. They can go and f**k themselves.